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Caulker Called Up As Ferdinand Withdraws From England Squad

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has pulled out of England’s squad to face San Marino and Montenegro with Tottenham’s Steven Caulker replacing him.

rio ferdinand

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has pulled out of England’s squad to face San Marino and Montenegro in the up-coming World Cup qualifiers with Tottenham’s Steven Caulker stepping up from the under-21’s to replace him, according to the Daily Mail.

The 34-year-old met with England boss Roy Hodgson on Sunday evening to inform him of the news that he’d have to pull out of the squad after his back specialist warned him that to take a week-and-a-half off from his treatment programme would put his season in jeopardy.

Ferdinand is forced to follow a strict training schedule to manage his back complaint and the defender has to take regular trips to Milton Keynes and Munich to be treated by German back specialists, and it was following conversations with them and United’s own medical team that the former Leeds United centre-back took the decision to withdraw. Ferdinand is quoted as saying by the Mail:

‘It was important for me to be able to speak with Roy face to face and explain the situation, and one thing I made clear was that my passion and commitment to represent my country is as strong as ever.

‘It is disappointing that I won’t be able to play a part in the upcoming games but I told Roy that I want to continue to be available for England and I look forward to working with him in the future.’

Hodgson expressed his disappointment at losing Ferdinand but was pleased that the player took the time to speak with him in person to explain his complicated situation.

‘I’m disappointed Rio will not be available, but due to the detailed pre-planned training and medical programme he must follow it’s not possible.

‘However, I was pleased that Rio called and asked to meet with me. It was important to hear from him personally about the way he must manage his body between games.

‘This is not to say he cannot play back-to-back games – he can and has proven so. He’s out this time due to particular pre-planned details already in place for his programme.

I must place on record how I was impressed with his commitment to playing for England and I look forward to hopefully selecting him for squads in the future.’ Hodgson is quoted as saying by the Mail

Tottenham defender Steven Caulker has now been called up from the under-21’s with Hodgson facing something of a crisis at the heart of his defence. Ferdinand’s withdrawal follows the news that Michael Dawson and Gary Cahill are both likely to miss the fixtures through injury, while Everton’s Phil Jagielka is also currently unavailable.

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